A popular bakery in Stevenage opened its second location at the weekend, with big crowds attending to get their hands on some tasty bread and pastries.

Leavened Bakery, run by Izabela Stuchlik, opened in Stevenage's indoor market in 2020, but has proven so popular with customers that it has now expanded to a second location in the Old Town.

The new shop opened at the rear of 42 High Street on Saturday (May 20), proving such a hit that it sold out of everything within three-and-a-half hours.

Speaking after the opening, Izabela told us: "It has always been my dream to create my own, independent space that would sell coffee, bread, pastries and - most importantly - bring people together.

The Comet: Izabela started Leavened in 2020 in Stevenage's indoor market.Izabela started Leavened in 2020 in Stevenage's indoor market. (Image: Leavened)

"I opened my sourdough bakery in the indoor market in 2020 and it is a great place to start a new business if you have a good product and know how to bring people in.

"As the time went by and I grew my amazing (still pretty small) team I was hoping to find a space outside the market.

"Thanks to so many fantastic people we have managed to secure the ground floor in the rear of 42 High Street.

"It is a beautiful, stand-alone building with beams across the ceiling and wooden floor and I instantly fell in love with it.

"As excited I was to open another location I was very scared too (considering rising costs of electricity and ingredients I was probably more scared than excited) but it would have been a shame to miss the opportunity.

"My team and myself came up with the idea of crowdfunding so we get our lovely bread community involved and there is less financial pressure.

READ MORE: Meet Izabela: The inspiring Stevenage baker with MS

"Thanks to our amazing supporters (and variety of rewards) we managed to pledge £7k which allowed us to buy equipment in order to increase production.

"The response from people was just touching and I still can’t believe how generous everyone is.

The Comet: The new location is at the rear of 42 High Street.The new location is at the rear of 42 High Street. (Image: Leavened)

"My husband started working on the new space in the middle of April and, working hard every weekend, he completed the job just last week.

"The shop is inspired by all of my European bakery trips, mainly Copenhagen.

"Everyone was extremely excited by our new adventure and supported us with a good word along the way.

"I think there is something special about the real bread that brings people together and it proved to be true.

The Comet: The new location includes beams across the ceilings, and seating for customers.The new location includes beams across the ceilings, and seating for customers. (Image: Leavened)

"Our opening weekend was the busiest we have ever had and we are hoping to be able to make more pastries and bread as we learn to work in a new world.

"My small team gained some new members and we have all been working very hard to make this happen.

"On the first day we sold out within three-and-a-half hours and our Sunday buns sold out within two!

"For us as Team Leavened it is all about quality and people, and we are very happy to finally be a part of the Old Town community which has welcomed us so warmly."

Leavened continues to sell its products in the indoor market. Its new Old Town location is open from 10am until 3pm Wednesday to Sunday.